There are many great benefits and reasons to volunteer your time with non-profit organizations, some of which we have covered in our Power of Volunteering blog post. Out of the many benefits of volunteering, this particular one may be of value to job-seekers. Volunteering can really help build your resume, and can actually help you find a job faster! We’ll tell you how!
Possibly the biggest career advantage you gain through volunteering is an extended network of personal and professional contacts. We have all heard the expression that “it’s who you know”. You are bound to meet many new people through volunteering, some of which could prove to be a great connection at that company or industry you have applied to. The organization you are volunteering for may even be willing to write you a letter of reference to confirm your skills and support you as a great addition to any team. It’s a good idea to keep a list of all the contacts you meet through volunteering including coordinators, staff members, and other volunteers as you never know who could help and how.
The second way that volunteering could help you secure a job is by exposing you to situations where you have the opportunity to constantly build upon your skill set or acquire new, transferable skills! For example, your volunteer experiences could help you develop new customer service skills, or strengthen your existing project management or public speaking skills. Whether you are improving or expanding your skill set, you will surely be a more appealing job candidate.
Volunteering also gives you overall valuable experience demonstrating the qualities of a great employee. Hiring managers value volunteering as it shows them that you are committed, can manage your time well, can get along well with other team members and so on. It shows managers that you have the attitude and outlook that it takes to be successful in a professional, structured environment!
Last but not least, volunteering helps you learn more about yourself and test out various roles that may be of interest to you in order to better find the right fit. You may have the chance to try out a specific role without having to dive into a formal employment position. Or, even if you may not get to actually work in a specific staff role with the non-profit, you can gain a better insight into a particular role by seeing it in action first-hand. For example, if you volunteer at a retirement home, you are around nurses, care givers and front-line staff (among others) and have the opportunity to observe their day-to-day tasks. What better way to familiarize yourself with what it is really like to have that job?
Volunteering can generally make you feel more productive and confident. Go out and let volunteering help you to build a network of people, let your passions lead you, build on your skills and prepare yourself for the professional world!
For a variety of volunteer opportunities that can fit your interests and schedule, sign up for a free account on GozAround!